27 May 2021
Pretoria – The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA/the Authority) has completed the review of the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) COVID-19 National Disaster Regulations (The Regulations) and, having considered all the written submissions received within the stipulated deadline, resolved to, among others: extend the temporary radio frequency spectrum assignments issued to licensees for a further three months (from 1 June 2021 to 31 August 2021).
The Authority hopes that all key stakeholders will use this period to find a resolution to the spectrum litigation impasse. The Chairperson of ICASA, Dr Keabetswe Modimoeng urges active litigants to participate in the ongoing settlement negotiations in order to resolve the matter.
“The three-month extension affords an opportunity for all stakeholders to find a resolution to the spectrum litigation impasse. Unfortunately, at some stage we will not be able to continually extend these temporary spectrum assignments when a more permanent licensing route is struck through litigation. We need to come to the negotiations with well-meaning intentions, as soon as possible to resolve this ongoing legal stand-off. We cannot perpetuate a pandemic-specific temporary arrangement to a point where it amounts to a backdoor spectrum licensing regime. High-demand Spectrum ought to be licensed in a transparent and competitive manner; hence any other way is unjustifiable in the long run.” says Dr Modimoeng.